Baby Born On Freezing Sidewalk Revived

April 21, 2013 by  

Baby Born On Freezing Sidewalk Revived, Nearly two hours after a baby girl born on a frigid Toronto sidewalk Sunday morning was pronounced dead in hospital, two police officers waiting with her body noticed movement under the sheet that had been placed over her.

The officers checked for a pulse — and found one.

The baby girl was alive.

By Sunday evening, the infant was in stable condition at Humber River Hospital’s Finch Ave. W. site, along with her 20-year-old mother, said Toronto police Const. Wendy Drummond. The hospital said it is investigating.

The near-tragic saga began an hour before sunrise on Sunday, when the pregnant woman felt ill and set off with her own mother for the hospital on Finch Ave. W. near Hwy. 400.

“She wasn’t feeling well and her and her mother were walking to the hospital,” said Drummond.

The pair walked along York Gate Blvd., a short, curving street bordered on the west by a windswept field.

It was bitter outside. Temperatures dropped below -15C overnight; the city had issued an extreme cold alert. Snow drifts blocked the sidewalk on the road’s west side.

Yorkgate Mall sits on the east side of the road. Its 60-plus stores would have been closed at about 6:15 a.m. when the woman was trying to get to the hospital, just 500 metres away.

She didn’t make it. She went into labour and had the baby out there on the sidewalk.

Drummond said the woman called 911 and police and paramedics arrived. They hustled the baby, along with the woman and her mother, into an ambulance and brought them to the hospital.

Medical staff tried to revive the infant but she was pronounced dead shortly afterward and covered with a sheet.

Police alerted the coroner’s office, which requested that officers remain with the tiny body until the coroner arrived to conduct an investigation.

Two police officers stayed behind to wait.

After about an hour and 45 minutes, one of them noticed the sheet was shifting. The officers took a closer look and felt for a pulse. Upon finding one, they immediately alerted medical staff, who confirmed the baby girl was, in fact, alive.

“There weren’t life-saving measures taken by the officers but it’s very important the officers were there and noticed some movement,” said Drummond.

The baby’s mother is in good condition in hospital, she said.

The officers credited with helping save the baby girl’s life both declined to speak publicly about it, said Drummond.

“Today two officers experienced something most likely never to happen again in their careers,” Drummond tweeted on the Toronto police Twitter page. “Truly astonished/pleased baby is doing well.”

Deputy chief Peter Sloly tweeted an exuberant commendation as well, writing, “A #Toronto woman had a baby today but it was pronounced dead. 2 #TPS cops … saw the baby move, got a pulse + saved its life!”

Humber River Hospital spokesperson Gerard Power said in an email that the hospital is reviewing the events with the appropriate agencies. Privacy laws prevent the release of further information, he said.

According to its website, Humber is one of Canada’s largest regional acute care hospitals, with 549 beds, 700 doctors and 3,000 staff at its three sites in the GTA.

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